Bennett County Schools 3-1
Transition and Coordination Plan

Empowering Our Students to Reach Their Full Potential

As an institution of education our mission is to empower our students with the ability to reach their full intellectual, physical, creative, emotional, and social potential, thus enabling them to be successful, contributing members of society.

Our goals are:

  • to facilitate maximum learning for all students,
  • to create a community of lifetime learners,
  • to recognize and accept each students as a unique individual,
  • to maintain a safe environment for each student,
  • to promote parent education and involvement with their child’s education, and
  • to encourage and provide on-going teacher and staff educational opportunities.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Background

Federal Requirements

Program Development

Planning Team

Goals and Objectives

Meetings and Agendas

Coordination and Communication

Transition Process

Document Procedures



Professional Development

Parent Involvement and Education


Title I Part A

Section 1112

Section 1114

Section 1120B

Consolidated Application

Children Experiencing Homelessness

Head Start

Special Education Part C

Special Education Part B 619


Introduction and Background

Each public school in South Dakota is required to have a written coordination and transition plan. The Department of Education (DOE) conducted five regional trainings on the subject in March 2003 to inform school districts and Head Start agencies of the requirements and provide technical assistance. The full day training included discussions about the importance of collaboration about early childhood agencies and parents within a community, federal requirements, components of the plan, and resources. The expectation was that districts would create their Coordination and Transition Plans during the 2003-2004 school year.

The department convened a workgroup in the spring of 2008 to review the requirements for the written plan. Representatives from local school districts, the Committee of Practitioners, Title I, Special Education, Birth to Three Connection and Head Start were present. Recommendations were made for revisions to the components of the plan and topics that should be addressed within each component. The DOE was charged with revising the plan components and creating a guidance document with information related to the requirements for the written plan as well as information regarding related services and programs.

Districts are expected to revise their coordination and transition plans to comply with the revised components during the 2008-2009 school year for full functioning by the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. Since the cycle for transition activities begins in the winter and spring of each year for incoming kindergarten students, it might by useful for districts to complete the revision process prior to the start of that cycle each year.

Federal Requirements

Each district is required to have a Coordination and Transition Plan that is developed and implemented with the input from district staff, early childhood programs, including Head Start, and parents. Requirements come from the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) as authorized as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), title I Part A, Sections 1112, 1114, and 1120B and through Head Start.

The local education agency (LEA) or district is responsible for the development of the written plan but must do so with the active participation of early childhood agencies and parents. The plan must be kept on file at the district and each elementary school. The local Board of Education should be aware of the plan and it should be available for the public upon request. The Department of Education (DOE) requires the written plan to be submitted when the district is reviewing an on-site monitoring visit or a desk review through NCLG Title programs.

Program Development

The original Coordination and Transition Plan began with the attendance of MGS staff at a regional training led by the South Dakota Department of Education in March 2003. A review and update of the Bennett County School’s Coordination and Transition plan will be completed by May 15, 2015 (as per the Title I review on February 3, 2015).

Planning Team

Amie KuxhausMartin Grade SchoolPrincipal
Cheryl WittMartin Grade SchoolPreschool Teacher
Melissa ByrneMartin Grade SchoolTransition Kindergarten Teacher
Sunny PiersonMartin Grade SchoolKindergarten Teacher
Karis PappenfussMartin Grade SchoolKindergarten Teacher
Marlene JanisMartin Grade SchoolEarly Childhood Special Education Teacher
Belinda ReadyBennett County School DistrictFederal Programs Director
Stacy AllenBennett County School DistrictSpecial Education Director
Lura UsselmanBennett County School DistrictSpeech and Language Therapist
Marie HuetherBennett County School DistrictSchool Nurse
Cindy FischerOLC Head StartDirector
Allen Head Start
Badlands Head Start / Sunrise
Three Rivers Coop Birth to Three
Maxie BairDay Care Provider
Michelle HeathDay Care Provider
Stephanie MoranDay Care Provider
Marlys RobinsonDay Care Provider
Abby O’NeillParent

Goals and ObjectivesThe goal of the Coordination and Transition Plan is to provide assistance in the transition from preschool age children (four-year olds) into kindergarten.

Objectives include:

Educate and prepare parents for tradition and for their role in a child’s education,

Prepare children for the transition from home, daycare, preschool and/or Head Start to kindergarten, and

Involve the children in the transition process.

Meetings and Agendas



3-9-2015Parent MeetingBennett County Jr. HighPlan Requirements, Parent Involvement – how parents can get involved, Parent Workshops
4-9-2015Daycare ProvidersBennett County Jr. HighInformation to Daycare from school, Website information.
2-22-2016Marlene Janis, Ivy Birdsall, Chirsi Laverack, Joyce Strain, Melissa Byrne, Belinda Ready, Amie KuxhausAC Community RoomReview Transition Plan, Professional Development, Parent Involvement, End of Year Evaluations, Schedule Kindergarten Round-up.
3-22-2016Marlene Janis, Ivy Birdsall, Chirsi Laverack, Cheryl Witt, Joyce Strain, Melissa Byrne, Belinda Ready, Amie KuxhausAC Community RoomUpdate Plan, Preschool Program, Transitional Kindergarten Program, Kindergarten Program, Spring Kindergarten Round up, Preschool Screening
3-30-2016Marlene Janis, Chirsi Laverack, Cheryl Witt, Joyce Strain, Karis Pappenfuss[i], Amie KuxhausPreschool RoomKindergarten Round-up schedule, activates, menu, and information for parents.
4-19-2016Transition Plan was reviewed during a District Schoolwide Review
4-27-2016Ivy Birdsall and SPED staffPreschool Screening
5-5-2016Amie Kuxhaus, Kindergarten Teachers,Marlene Janis, Belinda Ready,Shelly SiscoeKindergarten Round UpIncluded stations of activities where the Kindergarten teachers were able to preasses skills and meet the children.Students and parents were given a tour of the building and a bag of “goodies” to take home to practice developing skills.

Coordination and Communication

Area Head Start Centers, Day Care Centers, parents. Martin Grade School and Bennett County School District staff is invited to attend all meetings scheduled for the Coordination and Transition of Preschool children held for the Bennett County School District. (This list is included under Program Development Planning Team.)

Staff from the day care centers and Head Start is encouraged to visit with Bennett County School District staff to share ideas and strategies for working with children, participate in training and workshops, and share resources. Resources are available in the Parent Involvement/Professional Development Center found in Mrs. Ready’s office in the Bennett County Junior High.

Bennett County Schools has a Memorandum of Agreement between the Bennett County School District and Badlands Head Start: Prenatal to Five signed by Belinda Ready and Cindy Fischer. The memorandum is for collaboration when serving jointly enrolled homeless families that have children enrolled with the Bennett County School District and Badlands Head Start.

Transition Process

Special Education staff, Head Start Centers and Day Care centers provide the Bennett County School District with enrollment information assessment findings and other child information with parental consent. Parents may bring their child’s documents to the Martin Grade School office to start the enrollment process during screening and enrollment sessions. The Martin Grade School principal meets with prospective students giving an overview of the school and a tour of the facility during Kindergarten Registration.

Students with an active IFSP meet with the principal, Special Education Director and teaching staff to ease transition and ensure proper placement and services.

The Special Education Director plans screening for children, Birth to Five, each spring. Areas screened include: DIAL-R, hearing, fine motor, gross-motor, vision, cognitive and communication skills. During the screening process the school nurse checks immunization records and the school secretary files registration documents (birth certificate, immunization records, etc.) in the student’s cumulative folder.

Advertising for this screening is done through posters and flyers in all school buildings, at the Day Care Centers, Head Start Centers, and in businesses around Bennett County. An article is placed in the Bennett County School District Newsletter, the Bennett County Booster and the Lakota Times. The information is placed on the district web site and notices are sent home in Wednesday folders with Martin Grade School students.

During the screening children eligible to attend Martin Grade School’s Preschool Program the next fall may put their name on the list of interested students. MGS Preschool is open to any child in Bennett County that reaches the age of FOUR by September 1 of that year. Enrollment is not completed until the fall based on the number of students wishing to enroll. If enrollment numbers are larger than the number of opening, priority is given to students based on screening assessments, economic status and already identified students throughSpecial Education screenings. Children will be put on a waiting list if there is not an opening at the start of the year. A student may be “bumped” from the program for lack of attendance or a change in priority placement.

Other activities planned during the screening may include a tour of Martin Grade School, car seat safety demonstrations and Parent Involvement information displays.

Head Start students, MGS Preschool students and Day Care children are invited to visit the Martin Grade School Kindergarten classrooms each spring. Their visit begins as an hour stay and expands as the teachers and program collaborate.

Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is a bridge between preschool and kindergarten. It was phased in at Martin Grade School for children who are young 5 year old. Staff has recognized that kindergarten standards and curriculum have changed over the years. Many of the skills children were once taught in first grade are now expected in kindergarten. This can make the transition into kindergarten difficult for some children, and theyoungest children entering the kindergarten classroom often struggle to adjust.

TK helps children develop skills through activities that build confidence and communication in reading and math by using educational games.

Transitional kindergarten helps all of our children get the best start possible, with curriculum that is designed just for them. Research shows children who attend kindergarten readiness programs, such as transitional kindergarten, are more likely to do well in school and become lifelong learners.

Students are identified dependent on birthdate, using Aimsweb data, and recommendations from Preschool or Headstart.

Professional Development

Professional Development that is made available for Early Childhood, Preschool and Kindergarten staff and parents includes the Early Childhood Conference and Kindergarten Academy. The Ogallala Sioux Tribe provides professional development for Day Care providers who are funded through the tribe. Bennett Count 4H arranges for First Aid and Babysitting training for teenagers interested in assisting at Day Care Centers or families.

Workshops and conferences may be available for staff and parents as it becomes available through Birth to Three coordinators, Title I or Special Education departments during the school year.

Parent Involvement

Mrs. Ready, Federal Programs Director, is responsible for Parent Involvement across the district. A Parent Resource Center is located in her office at the Bennett County Junior High. Materials and suggestions for activities are sent home with children after screenings, parent trainings and workshops.

“We Read, You Read” and “Are You Ready for Kindergarten?” workshops have been held annually. Other activities provided across the district during the school year include Parent-Teacher Conferences (twice), Family Fun Nights (twice), Muffins for Mom (twice), and Donuts with Dad (twice). Other activities are planned upon parent or staff request. Wednesday Folders are sent home with Preschool – Sixth Grade students weekly from the classroom teachers. Parent information is placed on the district website and included in the Bennett County School District Newsletter.


The Bennett County Coordination and Transition Plan will be evaluated twice each year. Once in the fall to guide the process during the school year and once in the summer to review how the process worked during the school year to make recommendations for the next fall. The Federal Programs Director, with collaboration from the MGS Principal and the SPED Director, will be responsible for overseeing the process

A Parent Satisfaction Survey will be written and given to parents in the fall and spring annually.

Title I Part A

Requirements pertaining to Coordination and Transition under No Child Left Behind.

Section 1112 Local Education Agency Plans


(E) a description of how the local educational agency will coordinate and integrate services provided under this part with other educational services at the local educational agency or individual school level, such as — (i) Even Start, Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, and other preschool programs, including plans for the transition of participants in such programs to local elementary school programs; and

(ii) services for children with limited English proficiency, children with disabilities, migratory children, neglected or delinquent youth, Indian children served under part A of title VII, homeless children, and immigrant children in order to increase program effectiveness, eliminate duplication, and reduce fragmentation of the instructional program;

(K) if appropriate, a description of how the local educational agency will use funds under this part to support preschool programs for children, particularly children participating in Early Reading First, or in a Head Start or Even Start program, which services may be provided directly by the local educational agency or through a subcontract with the local Head Start agency designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 641 of the Head Start Act, or an agency operating an Even Start program, an Early Reading First program, or another comparable public early childhood development program;


(G) in the case of a local educational agency that chooses to use funds under this part to provide early childhood development services to low-income children below the age of compulsory school attendance, ensure that such services comply with the performance standards established under section 641A(a) of the Head Start Act;

Section 1114 Schoolwide Programs


(G) Plans for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood programs, such as Head Start, Even Start, Early Reading First, or a State-run preschool program, to local elementary school programs.

Section 1120B Coordination Requirements

(a) IN GENERAL- Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this part shall carry out the activities described in subsection (b) with Head Start agencies and, if feasible, other entities carrying out early childhood development programs such as the Early Reading First program.

(b) ACTIVITIES- The activities referred to in subsection (a) are activities that increase coordination between the local educational agency and a Head Start agency and, if feasible, other entities carrying out early childhood development programs, such as the Early Reading First program, serving children who will attend the schools of the local educational agency, including —

(1) developing and implementing a systematic procedure for receiving records regarding such children, transferred with parental consent from a Head Start program or, where applicable, another early childhood development program such as the Early Reading First program;

(2) establishing channels of communication between school staff and their counterparts (including teachers, social workers, and health staff) in such Head Start agencies or other entities carrying out early childhood development programs such as the Early Reading First program, as appropriate, to facilitate coordination of programs;

3) conducting meetings involving parents, kindergarten or elementary school teachers, and Head Start teachers or, if appropriate, teachers from other early childhood development programs such as the Early Reading First program, to discuss the developmental and other needs of individual children;

(4) organizing and participating in joint transition-related training of school staff, Head Start program staff, Early Reading First program staff, and, where appropriate, other early childhood development program staff; and

(5) linking the educational services provided by such local educational agency with the services provided by local Head Start agencies and entities carrying out Early Reading First programs.

(c) COORDINATION OF REGULATIONS- The Secretary shall work with the Secretary of Health and Human Services to coordinate regulations promulgated under this part with regulations promulgated under the Head Start Act.

Bennett County School District Consolidation Application


6.02 Will the district identify eligible preschool children in the district as a whole or only those from certain school attendance centers?

District as a whole – Martin Grade School will house a preschool for students age 4 at no cost to the parents. Enrollment is based on child need, economic status and SPED recommendation.

6.03 The district assures it will identify eligible preschool children my using multiple, educationally related, objective criteria, such as: teacher judgment, interviews with parents, and developmentally appropriate measures of child development.

6.04 The district assure it will not charge Title I eligible children tuition or a fee to attend a preschool wholly or partially supported by Title I funds.

7. The district assures it has a written coordination and transition plan (Section 1120(B), Section 1112)b)(1)E); Section 114(b)(1)G); and Section 1115(c)(1)(D) of ESEA)

8. The district assures it will evaluate the coordination and transition plan annually. (Section 1120(B), Section 1112)b)(1)E); Section 114(b)(1)G); and Section 1115(c)(1)(D) of ESEA)


Early Intervention - Pre-School Section 619

The Preschool Grants Program, authorized under Section 619 of Part B of IDEA, was established in 1981 to provide grants to states to serve young children with disabilities, ages 3 through 5 years. All states and eligible jurisdictions and outlying areas have participated in the program since fiscal year 1992. As of December 1, 2000, slightly less than 600,000 children were receiving special education and related services nationwide.

To be eligible for Preschool Grants funds, states must implement all requirements under Part B of IDEA for special education and related services. These requirements include areas such as due process, nondiscriminatory testing and evaluation, individualized educational program (IEP), placement in the least restrictive environment, and parent participation.


In April 2005 the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) announced new reporting requirements for child and family outcomes. States will begin reporting outcomes data in the Annual Performance Report (APR) due February 2007.

State 619 programs must report the percent of preschool children with IEPs who demonstrate:

1. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships);

2. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy); and

3. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

Beginning in March 2006 when children entered the Part B system, South Dakota required educators to administer a post test in all 5 areas of development upon exiting Part C. Currently, when a child exits the Birth to 3 Connections program, the child is tested only in the area(s) of concern per Part B rules and regulations. The exit data for Part C will become the baseline data for children who become eligible for Part B.

Children who enter the Part B (619) system after the age of 3 will be pre-tested in all 5 areas of development to establish baseline. Upon exiting the 619 Program a post-test will be administered in all 5 areas of development. The baseline pretest scores will be compared to the post-test scores in the 5 areas of development evaluated to determine progress in the three required sub-indicators


Title I’s Non-Regulatory Guidance, Serving Preschool Children Through Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as Amended, is a resource that can be used by SEAs, LEAs and others interested in using Title I funds to support children before kindergarten entry. Family engagement is a required component of Title I and is addressed in this guidance. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/preschoolguidance2012.pdf

Head Start National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family is a technical assistance provider for Head Start providers and has resources focused on family engagement:

a.Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) Framework https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/standards/IMs/2011/pfce-framework.pdf

b.Using the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework in Your Program: Markers of Progress https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/docs/ncpfce-markers-of-progress.pdf

[i] Updated 1-12-2016